So, you’re ready to register a local group with 350.org? Great! We ask that you read this information first before you fill out the group application form.
What are local groups?
Local groups are the people-powered engine rooms of our movement. We believe a powerful global network of groups campaigning in their local contexts is essential to stop the climate crisis.
Working at the local scale allows you to campaign to change the institutions within your immediate reach: whether that’s your village, city, state, or region. Organizing face-to-face, not just online, is essential for building a mass movement that can drive change.
When thousands of us do this together, we can bring transformational change. Since 350.org began in 2009, hundreds of citizen-led climate activist groups have sprung up in communities around the world. What local groups do will vary from place to place: but at their core there’s a commitment to a global climate movement that embodies the basic 350 Organising Principles.
Is my team ready to start a group?
These are the general guidelines for registering a group, with flexibility for different local contexts. Groups should:
- be a local (or regional) climate change initiative led by a team of 4-10 or more people
- meet regularly (weekly, biweekly, monthly)
- have participated with 350 in some way in the past, or be participating now (days of action, local projects, etc.)
- be looking for more support and collaboration with 350.org and the broader global climate movement!
It’s also important to have some common understandings about what we’re aiming for and what we value. Before you register, you must read and agree to the 350 Organising Principles.
If these criteria don’t yet apply to your group, and you’re just in the process of forming a local team, then check out some of these resources for inspiration on how to get going.
What do local groups do?
Whatever is most crucial to stopping climate change in your community, whether it be education, recruitment and team-building, campaigning and policy change, or working directly on solutions to cut carbon emissions. Most groups identify with at least one of these 3 key demands for a Fossil Free world:
- A fast and just transition to 100% renewable energy
- No new fossil fuel projects, anywhere
- Not a penny more for the fossil fuel industry
If you’re just starting out, start from the beginning and start small. Host a movie screening, then work your way toward a kickoff meeting. As your group gains confidence from successful small steps, stretch into bigger and bolder actions. Hold a protest, and start making some noise in local media.
When key moments arise such as a critical decision about a devastating fossil fuel project or a global strike or day of action, we also hope that local groups will join in solidarity. Our voices are louder and more persuasive when we take action as a global movement.
What can we expect from 350.org? What can we not expect?
350 is not a funding organization, and while we know funds can be important for events, actions, and more, we are rarely able to help in this way. We can and will do our best to provide support in other important ways. This could include digital tools and website hosting, downloadable materials, training, media support, political strategy, spotlighting local activities, or coaching from our coordinating team, in those countries where we have staff.
Because the movement has grown so big, we cannot promise extensive coaching and support in every single instance – but that’s why we’ve created plenty of resources for group leaders to use in their own teams! Plus, when you register your group, it will be searchable on the MegaMap for others to find and join.
What should our group call itself?
Many groups in the 350.org global network, especially in the United States, include “350” at the front of the name. Other groups outside of the U.S. use “Fossil Free” or its translation in the local language, in reference to the movement’s aim for a just world without fossil fuels. And some groups create their own names, or use their campaign goal in the name e.g. “Divest Harvard” or “No Fracking Brazil”.
It might be a good idea to name your group along these lines, so you can immediately be identified and benefit from public recognition the movement has built over time.
But it doesn’t really matter which name you choose – just pick one that suits the group members. What matters most is a commitment to people power, inclusivity, and working together to stop the climate crisis.